Planning Commission Endorses Bank Building Purchase

Cape Charles Wave

September 6, 2012

The Cape Charles Planning Commission voted September 4 to advise Town Council that the proposed relocation of the Town library to the former Bank of America building would be in compliance with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning Commission action is in response to charges that moving the library to the commercial district violates the Comprehensive Plan. Former town manager Timothy Krawczel wrote in an August 3 op-ed column in the Wave that the Town Council violated Virginia State Code when it voted to buy the bank building without consulting the Planning Commission. He further noted that the Comprehensive Plan ”recognizes Mason Avenue as the center of retail activity,” and that “turning the most prominent commercial building on the street into public space . . . not only removes the property from the tax rolls, it eliminates the building as a possible site for a future bank or commercial center.”

Town Planner Tom Bonadeo in his staff report pointed out that the Comprehensive Plan includes relocating the library to a larger space, as well as acquiring “strategic undeveloped properties.”  The bank building purchase would be in accord with these goals, as well as providing increased parking for the commercial district and overflow offices for Town officials on the third floor of the building, he said.

Bonadeo conceded that the Town’s purchase of the bank building would cause a loss of real estate and business tax revenue – especially since banks pay a higher tax than regular businesses.  But he said that conversion of the old school into apartments would somewhat offset the loss of the bank building tax.

Planning Commission member Joan Natali, who also sits on Town Council, said she found nothing about the bank purchase contrary to the Comprehensive Plan, and made a motion to that effect. The motion passed unanimously.



FRIDAY 9/7: Hunger Games Is First ArtsEnter Film of Season

ArtsEnter resumes its monthly film screenings Friday, September 7, at the Palace Theater with the showing of Hunger Games. The public is invited to arrive at 7:30 for snacks and cocktails preceding the 8 p.m. film. A $10 donation is suggested.

Hunger Games synopsis: Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capital of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.